I Am What I Am, and That’s All That I Am

Sorry for quoting Eminem here. It just fits.

A family member sent me an email, accusing me of trying to weasel her out of my life. This is a direct relative, and this is not the first such email that she has sent. However, she has pushed past even my levels of patience and tolerance. And although I may be a red-headed, part-Irish Scorpio, those limits are high indeed.

The entire email was manipulative, accusatory, passive-aggressive…and accusing me of the same things that I’ve heard before, from a few certain other people. Interestingly, it is from three women, in particular, who could all be clones of each other as far as attitude and personality. One of those women screwed up my childhood. One told the most obvious lies to the right people and cost me a job and a good chunk of my heart. The third one has simply been trying to get rid of me for two years.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of pent-up, pissed-off, irate, offended, hurt, angry, irritated and hard-assed alpha going on here. Because if there’s one thing I don’t do, it is slither and sneak and manipulate. Oh, I can, and very well, but I hate it and it irritates me when I have to.

So here. Have a good, solid, in-your-face slice of the Mastiff Bitch here. She went away for a while. But she’s back. And that’s all the warning that anyone gets.

The email is as follows, unaltered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you make that choice, then you made the right choice. I wasn’t telling you that. I don’t deal in half-truths, innunedo and subtly telling someone to go away. If I was trying to tell you that, I would have told you straight up.

What I *did* do was apologize for sometimes being slow in getting back to you. It was a sincere apology, and if you were to talk to any of my friends, you’d find the same thing has been said to them. I don’t talk to even my best friends more than once a month. Time simply does not allow, for any of us. It’s a fact of life.

Another reason that I am slow in replying is spelled out beautifully in the bulk of your email. You insinuate that I put you down, dismiss you, brush you off, ignore you. I do NONE of the above. I have *never* stooped to the levels of saying ‘I don’t have time for you’, as was done in the closing of your email.

There is no attempt to truncate the relationship. Not on this end. I am not trying to divorce myself. I am not forcing either you or Carey (since apparently it is still not acceptable to refer to her as my mother) to use a go between. If you had emailed me about the office furniture directly, instead of in a round-about, accusatory email, I would have tried to respond, however briefly, within a few days.

The reality is that I am excruciatingly busy. I’m traveling, covering events, working a regular job, managing publicity for a small press, writing fiction, writing articles, keeping up with too many wonderful people, editing other people’s work, running a magazine, putting together an anthology on the spur of the moment. I feel guilty for reading for an hour, or watching a movie. I’m creating a career, very successfully, in one of the most difficult industries in America. I don’t have the magic words, all I have is brains, guts and determination.

I took several days out of my schedule to come out and build fence and take care of the horses and spend time with you guys. I’m not complaining about that. I did it because it needed to be done, and because I wanted to do it.

And, because I don’t do passive-aggressive or subtle, here’s the position I’m in: I don’t need to rethink anything. I never do. I know where I stand, and everyone else knows where I stand. That’s it. I do not appreciate my words being twisted, misshapen, misunderstood, misinterpreted, down-right changed, manipulated, or anything else that someone can think of. I get enough of that at work. I’m tired of second-guessing honesty. I was raised to always tell the truth, and I do. A lot of people do not like me for that. A lot of people see it as proof that I’m hiding something. And most of them just think that I’m a bitch because of it.

I have no interest in using a go-between. I have no interest in discontinuing this relationship. But I do have my own life. I will live it as I please. I am an adult, I am level-headed to a degree that even Papa would be impressed with, I make mature decisions and always hold my well-being and effect on the future in the forefront of any choice or commitment that I might make.

I do things that you would not approve of. I write things that I will never share with you. This is not because I am attempting to shut you out or hurt you, but because I believe that, on occasion, ignorance *is* bliss.

I was at a convention this weekend. A local one, as a representative for a South Carolina magazine. I was there primarily to do interviews for them. But I also had the chance to interview someone for an article that I am working on. He is one of the most controversial figures in the south. He drinks, he has no filter between brain and mouth, he doesn’t pull the punches, he doesn’t play games with words. He’s a red-headed Scotsman. He’s a shock-artist, dealing in some of the nastiest, most taboo things legal entertainment can deliver.

And he taught me a lesson on tact.

He wanted a drink for during the interview. The waitress snipped that she was covering for someone else and would not be bothered to cut an orange for him.

As we went back to the table, I commented on her rudeness. He just smiled and said: ‘Would she have cut the orange if I’d made a big deal about it? Not every battle needs to be fought. There’s enough controversy already.”

He has a point. If I can avoid a disagreement, I will. And some of my writing, no matter how open-minded you try to be about it, will offend you. Badly.

In the future, please refrain from twisting my words. I am tired of saying something and wondering how it will come back to haunt me. It is exhausting, it is frustrating, and it is certainly no fun.

Here’s my suggestion: Let go of the past. I have. I don’t think about it any more. It can’t be changed. I’ve done things that I regret. At the time, I saw no other course, however. Now, in the light of wisdom and hindsight, I do see alternative courses. But those can’t be taken now, old wounds can’t be undone.

Let it go. No more accusations, no more manipulation, no more go-betweens. If there’s something to be said, it can be said to my face, or to yours. I love you guys, I always have, despite the problems, and I have no interest in losing part of my family. I have little enough of it as is.

Deal?

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